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How do I choose a scuba fin?

Regardless of how experienced you are in scuba diving or snorkeling, parts of your expertise depend on how good the equipment you use is. Choosing the wrong gears can be dangerous and make you prone to injuries. Obviously one of the important diving/snorkeling gears are the fins. They are available in plenty of options and styles which can be quite confusing. Despite the abundance of choices, there are only two major types including foot pocket and open heel. Each comes with different blade designs as well.

Foot Pocket

In a nutshell, foot pocket fins are designed for warm water sites. Although it does cover the entire foot length, it is almost impossible to have additional insulation attached to the fins. In most cases, it is used for snorkeling where going deep underwater is not necessary. Snorkel fins tend to be lighter than their dive counterparts, but they can overlap each other in terms of weight. Foot pocket is also often referred to as closed heel, full foot, or slipper style. The design looks similar to that of slip-on shoe.

Open Heel

This is the standard model for diving activities because the design allows divers to add more insulation, for example with waterproof socks or shoes. When combined with dive shoes, open heel design is suitable for most diving activities under 30 feet deep. From comfort point of view, open heel offers personalized fit because you can use your own shoes. Open heel is also known as open pocket, cold water, or strap fins.

Paddle and Split Blades

Each model comes with either paddle blade or split blade. The former is the traditional model and has been used since the 1940s. Little has changed since then, but new materials have been tried and used to improve propulsion power. Stiff rubber was the material of choice in the old days of paddle fin, but many flexible and lightweight substances are now used in the modern versions. Paddle fin is all about power and speed, making it suitable for experienced divers who are also excellent swimmers to navigate underwater.

Split fins, on the other hand, are built for maneuverability rather than speed. The blade is made of flexible materials with V-shaped that splits down in the middle. Stiffer substances are used for the wall to increase propulsion power. Due to the split down V-shaped design, each foot has two blades that work independently. Water can pass through the middle of the blades, preventing you from moving too fast in the wrong directions. It is best used for inexperienced divers who often use ineffective bicycle kick swimming technique.

Given the variety of divers, at our dive resort in Padangbai we prefer using the open heel fins, which are more comfortable and easier to fit. We provide full diving equipment to our divers so naturally with the fins they also get the booties (diving shoes). If you would like to snorkel in Padangbai, we are ready to gear you up too.

If you want to learn more about necessary scuba diving equipment for safe diving in Padangbai, read also on our blog:


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OK Divers